Friday, 5 February 2010

First Aid Course

“Aaaaargh!” You hear the shout from above. Then the world goes silent. Your heart hammers at your rib cage and your mouth goes dry.

Someone is lying at the bottom of a crag, injured, broken, bleeding, you don’t know yet.

You’re already leaping over boulders and crashing through the bracken to investigate, but hang on a second. Do you know what to do?

With some basic first aid you could help save someone’s life in the mountains.

A two-day practical first aid course is a required is part of the Summer Mountain Leader Award syllabus, which I’m currently doing while working as a features writer and gear tester for Trail magazine.

So I’ve been looking into training courses to learn about everything ouch-worthy that you might encounter, from cuts and blisters to burns and broken bones.

I’ve booked a place with Peak Outdoor Training for a course in Edale.

You don’t need any previous first aid experience for the course and you come away with the knowledge to keep you confident for walking solo or in groups where you may be in remote locations and away from help for some time.

Follow the blog for first aid tips after I've done the course.

I've booked my assessment!

I've done it. I've booked my Summer Mountain Leader (ML) assessment for May 17th-21st with Stuart Johnston Mountaineering. Now I need to properly get my ass into gear and clock up some serious mountain miles.

Watch out for some blog busy-ness as I go through all the skills you need to pass the ML.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

How fast do you really walk?

This November I spent a very valuable week with my friend Ian Campbell from Mullach Mountaineering. He passed his assessment in October and had lots of great tips.

Ian's first question to me was "How fast do you really walk?" To which I replied the standard 4km/hr. Then Ian produced a basic Garmin GPS from his backpack so we could get a feel for our speed more accurately.

On a steady track I found that a fit hill-walker is more likely to be walking at 5km/hr, or maybe even 6 if it's down hill and you're in a hurry!

Over rough terrain it completely changes. No matter how fit you are, bog and uneven terrain can slow you down to as much as 3km/hr.

Ian recommended to walk at 4km/hr ongood tracks as this is the pace most people walk at and you wouldn't want to tire your group out too quickly, especially if they are not used to walking day after day.

It's important to get a feel for your pace so you can more accurately judge your distance. I'll be borrowing a GPS from Trail mag and giving this a go in the run up to my assessment, hopfully this Spring.